Posts Tagged ‘Stonewall Inn’

Random Friday Thoughts — June 4, 2021

The first five months of 2021 are now behind us and it’s “unofficially” summer. For those that prefer the warmer months, enjoy (and enjoy them for me)! 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to check out what’s on my mind this week!

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

Cheers!

And, here’s to the amazing transgender women, gay men, lesbians, and allies, who had had enough of police brutality and the bulls–t at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in 1969 and rebelled!!!

It’s because of you that Gay Pride parades started in 1970 on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots!

“PRIDE”

Just in time for Gay Pride month, I watched the amazing new six-episode FX/Hulu series “Pride”, which chronicles the LGBTQ movement, decade by decade — from the 1950s to 2000s.

A few interesting things I learned:

  • After Joseph McCarthy’s “red scare” (Communist hunt) faltered in the 1950s, he moved on to outing gays working for the federal government.  In the “Lavender Scare”, President Eisenhower fired thousands of federal gay employees because they were a “security risk”.

This is rather ironic since J. Edgar Hoover, a self-loathing, closeted homosexual was the head of the FBI! I usually don’t like using the word “homosexual”, even though it was widely used then, because it’s outdated and clinical, but it serves the scumbag Hoover well!

  • In the 1960s, bartenders could be arrested for serving gays an alcoholic drink!
  • The Gay Liberation Front started in 1969. As lesbians became more vocal in the fight, the “gay” community became the “gay and lesbian” community. It wasn’t until the 1990s when “bi” and “transgender” became widely acceptable in the “LGBT” acronym.
  • And, finally, in the 1970s author Betty Friedan (“The Feminine Mystique”) was very homophobic and she thought lesbians would take over the women’s movement. She called it the “Lesbian Menace”! Luckily, lesbians rebelled against her.

“Pride” is an incredible documentary!  

WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!

Well, maybe not all since there are lactose intolerant people and some others are just weird. 🙂

Now that it’s warming up (winter is good for ice cream, too), here are a few fun facts about Dairy Queen:

Texas has more Dairy Queens than any other state (more than 600) and you can find a Dairy Queen in 30 countries across the world.

“Thrillist” says the largest Dairy Queen is a two-story, 7,500 square foot restaurant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In the U.S., the largest is right here in Central Illinois, in Bloomington, Illinois. Meanwhile, the world’s busiest location in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

The concept of soft serve ice cream came in 1938 by John Fremont McCullough and his son Bradley. Two years later, they partnered with ice cream shop owner Sherb Noble to open the first Dairy Queen in Joliet, Illinois!

But, Dairy Queen doesn’t serve “ice cream” since the soft-serve doesn’t “qualify”!

The company says, “To be categorized as ice cream, the minimum butterfat content must be 10 percent, and our soft-serve has only 5 percent butterfat.” 

While Oreo is the most popular Blizzard flavor in the United States, it’s Green Tea in China!

“SUPERNOVA”

This LGBTQ drama, now on Hulu, is about Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), a couple that’s been together for 20 years.

They’re traveling through the English countryside to be together to deal with Tusker’s early onset of dementia.

After a very slow start, the movie becomes very touching midway through when they attend a surprise dinner party with family and longtime friends.

GRADE: B

GAY FOR PAY

Both Firth and Tucci have played gay characters before. There was a time in not so long ago-Hollywood when actors (gay, straight, or closeted) were afraid of taking gay roles.

They feared it would end their box office appeal.

In today’s age, it’s almost sacrilegious for an LGBTQ role to go to a straight actor. This is especially true for transgendered roles.

I’m really torn about this.

As a gay actor, you want to be believable playing a straight character. Yet, there are those that want LGBTQ characters played only by LGBTQ actors.

I’m really behind this in transgender roles because under our LGBTQ umbrella, the most slighted group is the “T” (and yes, “B”, you’re right up there, too!)

Thank you “Pose” for the most impressive trans cast ever on television!

THEY SAID WHAT???

JAKE BORELLI (openly gay actor who plays the gay Dr. Levi Schmitt on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”): “Actors are trained, hopefully, to be able to play something that is not themselves. I think it starts to become a double standard when you say that straight people can’t play gay roles, because then the flip side of that double standard is that gay people can’t play straight roles — and I don’t think that is correct.”

“PRODIGAL SON”

While I totally enjoyed the premise of this Fox series — a serial killer’s (unstable) son is a criminal profiler for the New York City Police Department and he needs to consult his dad, at times, about cases.

Midway through season two, I made the decision to stop watching it after the season two finale.

This also happened with “NOS4A2”.

Well, I didn’t have to go through with it since both were cancelled after the second season!

Ironically, the last six episodes of “Prodigal Son” were incredible and the shocking season finale that may well act as the series finale was very rewarding!

However, the silliest thing about the whole series is that Malcolm’s younger sister, Ainsley, was the top reporter in New York City!!!

The character was so unbelievable as a reporter in the biggest television market in the country! But, I do love the actress, Halston Sage.

EMMY NOMINATIONS

Now that the Memorial Day deadline has passed, this year’s Emmy nominations will be announced on July 13th!

I seriously think that Oscar and Tony Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Chicago”) should get a nomination in the “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series” category for her role as Dr. Vivian Capshaw in “Prodigal Son”!

Her character was very understated in the first few episodes in her seven-episode run, but boy when it was revealed who/what she really was, get out of the way!

I especially loved her final scene with Bellamy Young (“Scandal”)!

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony is scheduled for September 19th on CBS.

FINAL DAIRY QUEEN TIDBITS

In the past two decades, the restaurant chain earned two entries into the Guinness World Records.

It created the world’s largest Blizzard in 2005 which weighed 8260.85 pounds!

And, in 2011, in Canada, it made the biggest ice cream cake in Toronto, Ontario — a 20,000 pound sponge cake with vanilla ice cream topped with crushed Oreo cookies! I hope my Canadian friends got to sample it. 🙂

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

Thank You “The Advocate” For My Advocacy

Every week, I share my “Random Friday Thoughts”.  I’m always thinking about something and writing gives me an avenue to express myself.  It’s rewarding when those thoughts prompt others to think about topics they normally wouldn’t consider and a dialogue is started.

I love to be provoked to think, too.  We should all be challenged to pontificate about life and what we can do to make ours better and the lives better for those around us.  Today, my thoughts focus on a special milestone.

Advocate

The largest and oldest LGBT magazine in the United States, “The Advocate”, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Happy Birthday and thank you for leading the fight!

birthday cake for gay man 21253

We’ve made so many advancements in the past five decades, but our work is just beginning.

I want to thank “The Advocate” for pushing two key phrases now as we navigate through the next 1,295 days (Inauguration Day 2021):  “Stay Woke” and “Resistance”!

We need this encouragement now more than ever.

“The Advocate” started as a local Los Angeles newsletter in 1967 and while many LGBT magazines copied its model, most have come and gone.

My first recollection of “The Advocate” was in the early-1990s when I was living in small town Kentucky reading about the anti-gay and racist business practices of the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. While still a southern staple, it’s expanded across the country, but I’ve never eaten at one and I never will.

LGBT

“The Advocate” has covered all of the issues we’ve face in the LGBT community starting with police harassment at the Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles and the Stonewall Inn riots in New York City in the 1960s.

Stonewall_riots

That harassment was a tipping point.  We’d had enough and it was time to fight back.  That fight was the catalyst for the modern gay rights movement and the Gay Pride parades that started in 1970.

Milk1

“The Advocate” was there for out politicians like Harvey Milk in the late-1970s and to out anti-gay politicians.

aidsquilt

Just as we were beginning to gain national exposure and make progress in showing the country and the world that we were someone’s brother, sister, son, daughter, neighbor, and friend, “The Advocate” was there to inform us in the summer of 1981 when “gay cancer” began killing off our friends in the community.

That cancer became GRID and then AIDS in the 1980s.

RonaldReagan

“The Advocate” was there to hold President Ronald Reagan responsible for not saying AIDS publicly until 1987 after more than 16,000 people had already died.

And, “The Advocate” was there as we fought for our rights and for equality — marriage equality, transgender equality, and women’s rights.

marriage

“The Advocate” was there through it all and its insight prompted me to move to Chicago in 1994 and become the person I am today.

A person that’s proud to be an out gay man that’ll continue to work to educate people about acceptance and equality.

I wish the new editorial director, Diane Anderson-Minshal, the very best as she takes the magazine forward in the fight for the next 50 years.  (Also, a thank you to the former editorial director, Matthew Breen, who now works in the same capacity at LogoTV.)

SEXUAL RACISM

I mentioned that I like to be pushed to think, too.

Sexual racism is a term that’s gaining traction across the country, but many people are not familiar with it.

It’s basically when a person of one race idolizes or fantasizes about a person of another race to the point of objectification.  It’s seen as power — one race being superior to another.  The article that got me to thinking more about it was from a black writer exposing the obsession he saw toward his community by white men.

I’ve never been in a situation where a person of color pursued me for a relationship, but I’d be open to it.

It’s like the line in “Hidden Figures” when Janelle Monae’s Mary Jackson says, “It’s equal rights.  I have the right to see fine in every color”.  That’s how I feel.

When I see attractive people of color, I take notice.  But, I don’t set out to look for this or that.  I’m not ordering from a takeout menu and this particular flavor sounds especially good today.  I see people as people.

Bill T Jones

Bill T. Jones is a man that I truly admire for all that he’s done for the gay community over his long life.  And, from what I’ve read, it doesn’t appear that he has a hang up with “sexual racism”.

Jones, who’s black and who modeled naked for the late renowned (white) artist, Keith Haring, in the early-1980s, doesn’t mince words about how he feels.

haring

Jones told “The Advocate” about his former lover and partner Arnie Zane (the couple were together for almost twenty years until Zane died in Jones’ arms in 1988),  “I wanted to find, and I did find, a person like Arnie Zane — Jewish, aesthetic, neurotic, poetic, and fierce — and already dealing with being an androgynous man who was a white man who would be public about actually loving a black man, and it wasn’t some sort of a kink.  He was able to love me.” 

Jones went on to say about the 1970s gay clubs days, “… we can see race is very much with us.  Race has not left.”  And, he adds, “So the gay identity was white, middle class.  God knows, I love them  – or I loved – those white boys.

So, with that, I’m still learning from “The Advocate” and like President Barack Obama evolved with his views on marriage equality, I’m still evolving, too.

Bisexual

Bisexuality comes to mind when I think of myself evolving.

With the acronym LGBT, I never bought into the “B” for bisexual.  I always thought bisexuals were gay people afraid to admit it because of family, religion, or the fear of homophobia.

You often hear certain celebrities come out as “bisexual”, but I’ve never had a friend tell me they’re “bi”.

However, looking back to my early years in the gay community, I recall a friend that was lesbian that went on to marry a man and have children and another woman that was married to a man, but also took on a lesbian lover with her husband’s knowledge.

So, I’ve evolved to believe that there are true “bisexuals”.

I’m looking forward to learning more from “The Advocate” as the LGBT community advances proudly through the next 50 years.

Again, congratulations and happy anniversary to “The Advocate”.

Anthony

Deadly Gay Nightclub Attack — We’re All “One”

The worst mass shooting in American history (at the time) took place Saturday night in an Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub called “Pulse”.

Pulse.jpg

The shooter killed 49 innocent people!

I pray for each and every person — gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or straight — in that nightclub.  

I pray for their families and their friends that someone took it upon himself to come into that nightclub to destroy the lives of everyone there and for the people who love them.

This is a disgusting act of cowardliness and it’s a sad expression of where some in humanity stand in life.  It’s pathetic and heartbreaking!

If this shooting and mass murder took place because it was a gay nightclub, that compounds an already inhumane act.

Hate is hate!  No one has the right to inflict emotional or physical pain or death upon another person because they think being gay is a sin.

Let God decide that when the time comes.

Learn to be human and talk about your differences or move along down the road in a different walk of life.

June is the month for Americans to celebrate “Gay Pride”.

It’s a time to celebrate diversity and everything that we in the LGBTQ community has had to fight for in life — from being discriminated against for who we are, to having others neglect them and kick them out of their homes for being different, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

“Gay Pride” was established in 1970 after the Stonewall Riots in New York City in the summer of 1969.

Bar patrons, who already had to hide in the shadows to meet, said to police who came in harassing them on a regular basis, “enough is enough”.

They fought back with bottles, rocks, and whatever they could find to protect themselves. Harassment, even at the hands of police, who demeaned and mocked gay people at the bar, is harassment and is wrong.  

The “Stonewall Riots” started a revolution!  Gay people could be themselves anywhere in America — whether it be Mayfield, Kentucky,  Pocatello, Idaho, or San Francisco, California.

When America is faced with an act of terrorism, such as the 9/11 attacks in September 2001 or terrorist attacks on a smaller scale, we stand strong in the face of sadness, tears, and blood.

As Gay Pride events take place this month, I hope all our friends embrace the LGBTQ community and look out for us, just as we would do for you — we are one!

I’m thinking of the U2 song, “One” right now and I think it’s appropriate.

I hope America and the world come together at this sad time to open their arms and open their hearts to their brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community.

We’re human just like you — we love and we want to find love, we work and pay taxes, we’re someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, niece, nephew, friend, or co-worker.

And, when some coward charges into a nightclub armed with “an assault-type weapon, a handgun” and “some type of (other) device”, we bleed and die just like the rest of America and the world.

All we want is peace, love, and understanding.

That starts at home, at schools, and at work.  

That starts with each one of us.

Please pray for those hurt and killed at the Pulse Nightclub, their families and friends, and the world.  

We all need that prayer now and every day!

Anthony